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Minnesota: Medical Marijuana Law Overview and State Fines/Penalties

David Bowman

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Possession for Personal Use
Possession of 42.5 grams or less is a misdmeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $200.*

* A conditional discharge is possible for first time offenders.
* There is a possible drug education course requirement.

Possession of 42.5 grams- 10 kilograms is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000.

Possession of 10- 50 kilograms is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Possession of 50-100 kilograms is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500,000.

Possession of more than 100 kilograms is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000,000.

Possession of more than 1.4 grams inside one's vehicle (except the trunk) is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 90 days imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000.

See:
  • Section 152.021 of the Minnesota Statutes
  • Section 152.022 of the Minnesota Statute
  • Section 152.023 of the Minnesota Statute
  • Section 152.024 of the Minnesota Statute
  • Section 152.025 of the Minnesota Statute
  • Section 152.027 of the Minnesota Statute
Sale
The distribution of 42.5 grams or less without remuneration is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $200.*

* There is a possible drug education course requirement.

The sale of less than 5 kilograms is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.

The sale of 5-25 kilograms is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000.

The sale of 25-50 kilograms is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500,000.

The sale of more than 50 kilograms is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000,000.

Importing 50 kilograms or more into the state is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 35 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,250,000.

Sale to a minor is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Distribution within a school zone or other specified areas is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $100,000.

See:
  • Section 152.021 of the Minnesota Statutes
  • Section 152.022 of the Minnesota Statute
  • Section 152.023 of the Minnesota Statute
  • Section 152.024 of the Minnesota Statute
  • Section 152.025 of the Minnesota Statute
  • Section 152.027 of the Minnesota Statute
Cultivation
Cultivation in Minnesota will be punished based upon the aggregate weight of the plants found. See the "Possession for Personal Use" section for further penalty details.

Hash & Concentrates
The Minnesota statute lists Marijuana and Tetrahydrocannabinol separately in Schedule 1 of the Minnesota controlled substances schedule. Tetrahydrocannabinols are defined as any mixture, compound, or preparation that contains the active THC component of the Cannabis plant or its resinous extractives. Case law refers to Hashish as the resinous form of Marijuana and generally holds that Marijuana and Hashish should be treated equally under the law.

The punishments enumerated in the statutes are equal for Marijuana and Tetrahydrocannabinols in all but one instance. The only difference is the decreased penalties for the possession of, or distribution without remuneration of, a small amount of plant-form Marijuana. This provision does not include Tetrahydrocannabinols. The statute specifically excludes the "resinous form" of Marijuana from inclusion in the definition.

Possession, distribution without remuneration, or sale of less than 5kg of Tetrahydrocannabinols is therefore subject to a term of incarceration not to exceed 5 years, and a fine not to exceed $10,000. For any of the above crimes, if a person has previously been convicted of a drug crime, the maximum period of incarceration and the maximum fine both double, and a mandatory minimum of 6 months imprisonment is imposed.

See:
  • § 152.02 of the Minnesota Statutes
  • § 152.01 of the Minnesota Statutes
  • § 152.027 of the Minnesota Statutes
  • § 152.025 of the Minnesota Statutes
  • Soutor v. State, 342 N.W.2d 175 (Ct. App. Min. 1984)
Paraphernalia
Possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $300.

See:
  • Section 152.092 of the Minnesota Statutes
Miscellaneous
When a person is convicted of possession or sale of marijuana, the sentencing court shall determine whether the person unlawfully sold or possessed the controlled substance while driving a motor vehicle. If so, the court shall notify the commissioner of public safety of its determination and order the commissioner to revoke the person's driver's license for 30 days.

See:
  • Section 152.0271 of the Minnesota Statutes
CONDITIONAL RELEASE

The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual's criminal record does not reflect the charge.

DECRIMINALIZATION

The state has decriminalized marijuana to some degree. Typically, decriminalization means no prison time or criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for personal consumption. The conduct is treated like a minor traffic violation.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

This state has medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective. For more information see NORML's Medical Marijuana section.

TAX STAMPS

This state has a marijuana tax stamp law enacted. This law mandates that those who possess marijuana are legally required to purchase and affix state-issued stamps onto his or her contraband. Failure to do so may result in a fine and/or criminal sanction. For more information, see NORML's report Marijuana Tax Stamp Laws And Penalties.

Source: NORML: Minnesota Laws & Penalties
 
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